The pros and cons of online classes

Originally Posted on The Triangle via UWIRE

Photograph courtesy of Angel Canton at Wikimedia Commons

Online courses at universities have become more widely taken advantage of recently, with the quick advancement of technology, which has allowed people to access the internet in the most remote areas. It is largely because those courses work so well if you are busy with various other aspects of life. Taking a course online gives you all kinds of flexibility and freedom to choose when to do your work as long as you get it all completed by the deadline.

 

On top of that, if you’re fully online, it means you don’t have to deal with travel costs, such as gas and other vehicle ownership costs or public transit fare. Of course, with that, you don’t have to worry about traffic jams or parking, which are huge hassles that eat up your time, along with finding your classroom.

 

On public transit, you might not need to worry about parking, but the travel is still equally as unpredictable. If you’re taking the bus or trolley, you’re subject to the same traffic conditions. If you’re taking the subway or commuter train, you aren’t subject to the traffic conditions, but the equipment you’re riding develops problems and your train needs to stop at signals, yielding the right-of-way to other ones oncoming.

 

Generally, traditional classes can be frustrating as students feel they are giving up their own way of life as it works for them. However, online courses do not work the same way for all students, as some may struggle with freedom. The lack of structure can make the learning atmosphere seem difficult to follow and engage in, and students cannot find the motivation to get themselves to work.

 

It is often difficult to decide whether to take a course online or in-person if you do not know what to expect in the course. If the material is something you are familiar with and interested in, you might not require a lot of guidance. However, when you find yourself struggling with the material in an online course, you might end up wishing the course was offered in person.

 

Additionally, you might feel less motivated with online material, because it is not a legitimate means of communication. When you have time at your own disposal, it becomes easier to give into temptation and become distracted from what actually needs to get done. With the voice and direction of the professor around, you have an oral explanation of what is going on in the course and what is expected of you.

 

In general, taking a course online works very well if your living and commuting situations make taking traditional classes difficult. However, if commuting hassles don’t bother you much, you might prefer tradition because you’ll have a more coherent way of communicating.

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